Following explosive rape allegations against Sean “Diddy” Combs, Diageo, the owners of DeLeon Tequila, have reaffirmed their position that any advertisements featuring the rapper are inappropriate and counter to their core values.
In response to the recent resurfacing of rape allegations, Diageo restated that they “do not tolerate disrespect or inappropriate behavior toward others in any form,” and they “will never collaborate with Mr. Combs on that relationship due to his values not aligning with regenerative culture being led by DeLeón Tequila.”
The rape allegations against Diddy have been present for two decades now. In 1999, the California woman who alleged the rapper of rape, which was later dismissed, sued Combs, claiming he sexually assaulted her. While the case was eventually dismissed due to a lack of evidence, it was widely reported that Combs admitted to making an uninvited sexual advance when interviewed by police.
Diageo’s response is in no way an endorsement of Diddy, or be taken as a statement against the victim of the rape allegation. Instead, it’s meant to demonstrate to consumers that the company doesn’t support the accused. The collective statement of no-tolerance for inappropriate behavior is in response to the much-needed push for social change when it comes to tackling rape culture.
At the time, Diddy chose not to comment on the situation, but the possibility of the brand suspending advertising with him was likely already on the table. However, the resurface of the 1999 rape allegation has increased pressure for the company to move forward.
It’s a hard appointment to begin with, as celebrity endorsements are a huge part of DeLeon’s overall advertising strategy. Through this statement, Diageo proves that they remain committed to their no-tolerance policy for inappropriate behavior, and won’t risk any credibility by staying silent.